If you’ve been around here for awhile then you know how passionate I am about using journaling as a tool for personal growth, reflection, and overall it-stops-me-from-completely-losing-my-mind. A lot of my products are based on journaling. Breathe. has a ton of journaling prompts to suss out the root of your anxiety while helping you to discover what coping mechanisms work for you. Journey Through Journaling is all about putting your personal journey into words. And then there’s this blog that is, at times, an open journal where I share my thoughts.
Journaling and writing in general, has helped me overcome so many things in my life.
I’ve written letters of forgiveness and letting go and then watched them go up in flames as I’ve been able to finally move past those feelings. I’ve talked about how journaling has had a huge impact on my mental health. Journaling has helped me discover the things I love about myself and it has helped me to discover the qualities that inspire me in others so that I can cultivate them in myself.
Why should you start journaling?
Journaling provides an outlet for your feelings that’s raw, uncensored, and safe. Write things down that you’d never be able to say to another person. You can let it all out with the fear of judgment. You have the ability to create this beautiful safe container for the things that you feel. And if you feel comfortable sharing those things with the world – it can change lives. Coming from someone that has written down those incredibly scary thoughts and feelings and then shared them with the world – that’s a special kind of magic. It’s empowering, it’s therapeutic, and it’s such an act of bravery.
When you write and then you share it, you let other people know that they aren’t alone.
The most important thing is to always write for yourself.
Writing is a way of communicating with those parts of ourselves that we’ve hidden, that we’ve shut away, that we like to pretend don’t exist. It helps us see the whole of ourselves instead of just the part that we show to the people around us. That’s why writing has always been a key aspect of my mental wellness. So often I like to ignore my depression, anxiety, and anger. The longer I ignore those things, the longer they build up inside of me. Having a daily practice of writing about my mental health allows me to deal with it in tiny, manageable pieces. I’m focusing on what I’m feeling and needing today instead of a backlog of months of feelings that I’ve ignored.
Stress relief. There’s nothing better than raging out on paper. Not only does it help you release heavy emotions in a way that doesn’t take them out on other people, it’s also cathartic to curse, scribble, and let out all of your intense feelings. If you’re having a crappy day – writing it down can help you see that in the big scheme of things, it’s not the worst thing in the world.
Journaling gives you the space to figure out what you need. When thoughts are rushing through your head it can be hard to stop, collect them, and then figure out what to do with them. When we write them down we can go back through them and see them in a different light.
How to Journal
There are all kinds of different ways to journal. Whether you go the traditional route of pen and paper, blogging, doodling, or just using the notepad feature on your phone – it doesn’t really matter as long as you’re letting it out.
I di a mix of everything. When I’m at work and having a super crappy night, I go into the bathroom and open the memo-pad on my phone and I just complain and vent and let it all out. Putting my frustration into words always helps.
I like using my Self-Love Workbook to journal because it has space for every day which encourages me to keep up a daily practice. I do a lot of bullet journaling with words, doodles, stickers, and quick mental check-ins.
For more deeper topics that I need more space to write about – I’ll write in a regular notebook.
For these prompts, you should dedicate a journal to them. Not only can you look back and check in with where you are mentally, but you can also answer these same questions after a few months and see how far you’ve come.
12 Journaling Prompts for Mental Health
1. What is the biggest struggle you face with your mental health?
2. What subtle signs do you see when you’re starting to really struggle?
3. In regard to your mental health, what things scare you the most?
4. Are there any things your mental health stops you from doing? Is there any way you can get creative and work around that?
5. Do you feel like you have enough support? If the answer is no, what are some ways you can start building up your support system?
6. What things have you achieved in spite of your mental health struggles?
7. What are three things you can start doing that will benefit your mental health?
8. What positive lessons have your mental health struggles taught you?
9. What unhealthy coping mechanisms do you use and what can you replace them with?
10. Make a list of all of your coping mechanisms in the order of how much they help you.
11. What are your favorite ways to self-soothe?
12. Look at yourself from an outside point of view – evaluate yourself and your mental health and then give yourself some loving advice and suggestions.